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McRae Enduro announces an all-new Dakar T1 Lightweight contender

‘It’s an all-new car, to meet the FIA’s new regulations for ‘Lightweight 4x2s’, explains McRae’s Commercial Director, Christopher Bibb. ‘Since bringing 3 out of 4 cars home on our Dakar debut, we’ve been working on upgrading the McRae Enduro with V8 diesel power, and this wholly new car for this wholly new FIA category.
‘The new FIA category and this car are solutions for the difficult economic times we live in’, continues Bibb. ‘But it’s something we have been working on for quite some time: we were testing in Tunisia last Summer’. The new car is a single-seater and targets, among others, bikers seeking to move onto four wheels. Meeting newly introduced T1 regulations for lightweight cars, the McRae 4×2 weighs around 600kg in Dakar trim and is powered by a 140hp liquid-cooled snowmobile motor.
‘The FIA and the ASO have worked remarkably quickly to get the new regulations in place for Dakar 2010. And the response from drivers, riders and potential sponsors has been extraordinary’ comments Alister McRae. ‘Firstly the Dakar-ready price of €65 000.00 makes sense right now, but it’s when people experience just how fast, fun and capable the car is that they decide they just must have one’. Innovative, fast but inexpensive, the single-seat machine comes with all navigational equipment and as such is ideal for the biker seeking to move onto four wheels; the young driver moving into FIA Baja and Cross Country events; or even the experienced Dakar driver seeking to remain competitive, have great fun, and finish – all on a tight budget. For others’ it’s the sheer simplicity and lightweight nature of the machine that’s so seductive. CVT relies on a Kevlar reinforced drive belt. If you don’t have a gearbox, you can’t break it’, says Bibb ‘CVT is lighter, boosts fuel efficiency and delivers peak torque at all times – which means it works in very soft sand. The result is that we can benefit from the high performance and legendary reliability of Japanese motorcycle engine technology’.
One of the first Dakar entrants to select the new McRae 4×2 is former MotoGP star Jurgen van den Goorbergh: This car is just the most fun; more than any other car I have ever tested! It comes so close to the drive-ability of a bike, that it will suit my driving style. The suspension and sheer speed it produces over bumps and in the sand is amazing. Meanwhile the sensation of being your own navigator, like being on a motorbike, gives me a new challenge to push myself to the limit. In testing in the Sahara, it simply didn’t get stuck until I did something silly’, says Dutch Dakar veteran and ProDakar team manager Chris Leyds. ‘And when we managed to get it stuck, it’s so light the driver can simply lift the front and walk the car sideways. There is no need for expensive on-board jacking systems, we use an exhaust-inflated air bag’.Chris Leyd’s ProDakar team is offering turn-key Dakar rentals from €110 000.00. We have sold quite a few cars, but we will be offering six 4x2s for rental. We are keen to cater for the former motorcyclist wanting to switch to four wheels. Too many motorcyclists leave the sport because, until now, cars have been either too expensive and or too boring to drive! You better believe the McRae 4×2 is a wild ride, but it’s also close to the true spirit of Dakar: one man and his machine against the elements’. The new McRae 4×2 is a bespoke mid-engined chassis concept, based on the successful Rage Motorsport product. Rage manufacture the chassis behalf of McRae Enduro Limited. The new McRae 4×2 will be formally unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, in England July 3, and a number of machines have been readied to take part on Baja Espana.

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